Scottish Poetry Selection
- Sowing

Walter Wingate lived at a time when spring sowing was still done by hand. The unusual format of three lines per verse is as the poet wrote the poem.


A mavis is trying his morning trill.
The sky is pale, and the wind is still;
I watch a sower go up the hill.

Timed like a tune is his mighty stride
With the swing of his shoulders side to side;
Straight, as the furrow his plough would guide.

Like heart-beat rhythm his sower-play,
Systolè and diastolè,
Dip in the pannier, sweep of spray.

Manful vigour in reigned control,
Motion in harmony, part and whole,
Grace his gait like an aureole.

Lone, like a god in the ages gone,
His presence peoples the desert of dawn:
Smiling, the ancient sun looks on.

Villas are sown on the hill to-day:
The sower I saw is bowed and grey-
But one sweet morning is mine alway.

Meaning of unusual words:
mavis=song thrush
systolè=contraction of the heart
diastolè=dilation of the heart

Return to the Index of Walter Wingate Poems or the General Index of Scottish Poetry

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